The very first Father’s Day celebration was held in the Spokane, Washington YMCA on June 19, 1910. The celebration was launched by Sonora Smart Dodd in memory of her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran and single dad who raised six children on his own.
The tradition caught on, and presently many countries celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. In Canada, Father’s Day is not a civic holiday, but nonetheless it’s a day to celebrate our fathers and for some fortunate men, a day to celebrate being a father!
Back in the day, fathers were not viewed widely as primary care givers to children. Fathers were expected to go to work and bring home a paycheque and let mothers take care of child rearing and domestic affairs. Fortunately for all those concerned – but especially for children, those days are long gone.
The rise of feminism brought more women into the workforce. Economic realities frequently dictate that families need to rely on two incomes to make ends meet. As women increasingly bring home paycheques too in equal measure to men, it falls upon enlightened fathers to share equally in child rearing responsibilities along with mothers.
Today, families come in many varieties. Fathers co-parent along with mothers, same-sex spouses and step-parents and also increasingly by themselves. Father’s Day serves as a reminder that parenting is an equal opportunity affair and that fathers have an important role to play. So let’s honour fathers today and everyday.
SEIU Healthcare wishes everyone a happy Father’s Day!